Friday, July 11, 2008
Housemates talk about transsexuals in front of Nadia who they don't know is a transsexual.
by Dyana Bagby
July 11, 2008
Growing up in Spanish Harlem in an abusive household, shuffled between foster homes and nearly killed when shot in the face a decade ago, Atlanta Police Officer Darlene Harris faced considerable struggles growing up.
Harris’ mother, who suffered from lupus and numerous other medical issues, spent much of her time in the hospital. She died at the age of 40 when Harris was 17, forcing Harris and her older sister to raise their younger siblings.
“We were literally dirt poor. I remember eating oatmeal cookies for dinner,” Harris said.
Harris, now 35, over came all of these hardships and built a successful career with the Atlanta Police Department, where she currently serves as the department’s full-time liaison to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders.
But Harris still faced an internal struggle nobody knew about — one she never understood until just this year. During puberty, she began growing facial and chest hair. She never had a regular menstrual cycle. Emotionally, she said, she had a rage that couldn’t be controlled.
Now she knows why her experiences were more different than others. She was “uniquely different” because she is intersex. . . .Read More
by Dave Levitan
July 10, 2008
Whether renewing a driver’s license, applying for a credit card or even getting married, there is always a space on the form to specify one’s gender. Generally speaking, we are only given two options: male or female. In recent years, however, the medical community has moved toward thinking of gender as more of a continuum than a stark dichotomy, with numerous children born with various disorders of sex development and increasing numbers of transgender adults.
The question has become more important then, as our understanding of gender has improved: which box to check on those forms? This question is only meant to be an easy analogy for how the rest of society in America, and particularly U.S. law, has been slow to catch up with the changing notions of gender. The legal problems faced by gender minorities are many, and they range from the mundane to the extremely critical: Which bathroom to use? What can I wear to work? Can I get married? For infants, what is the most ethical and legal way to treat certain conditions?
Although the legal world needs to answer some of these and other questions, the medical professionals who treat both children with disorders of sex development (DSDs, formerly referred to as intersex disorders) and transgender adults should be aware of the challenges their patients face on a daily basis. . . .Read More
July 7, 2008
Yesterday I was violently, physically attacked by a group of transphobic teenagers, three black girls probably between the ages of 15 and 17 years old, in downtown Philadelphia. I was waiting for a bus on the corner as the three girls were walking across the street, staring at me and saying aloud to each other, "Is that a boy or a girl?" Then they began addressing me, "Are you a boy or a girl?" while looking down on me and laughing.
I did what I usually do in these transphobic situations when I'm taunted or stared at. I stared back. I stared back at the girls and said plainly, "It's rude to stare at people." (I also usually answer: "No, I'm not a boy or a girl," to that familiar question, "Are you a boy or a girl?" But I didn't say anything else this time.) One of their friends who was walking with them, a young man who looked about twenty, shouted, "Oh! That bitch said 'respect her.'" I thought the group was just going to continue walking on and leave me alone, but a few moments later one of the girls took a few sauntering steps towards me, smiling a little, and then pulled her arm back fast and punched me hard in the left side of my face. . . .Read More